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trailed off into silence.

She forced herself to remain in a ball for the count of thirty, while unstable rocks dropped haphazardly from their unlikely resting places. Then she straightened, her body throbbing. She was in total blackness. The floodlight farther up the passage had either been knocked out or blocked by the cave-in. She groped for her light, forcing herself to ignore the sound of the rocks settling. Her hand closed around the familiar shape. She turned it on, and a dim light illuminated the cave floor. She shone it toward where Morden had been standing.

He looked as if he had been picked up and thrown at the cave wall. He was twisted up against it on his side, the orange jumpsuit over his chest fluttering with quick, shallow breaths. On the right arm of his suit was an odd, dark shadow. She thought at first that a rock was somehow balanced on it, but as she looked at its edges she realized that it was a burn. His right hand still gripped the PPG. Another cascade of rocks sounded behind her, and with his left hand Morden pulled the PPG out of his clenched fingers. A light shone off the mask of his breather, and Anna followed the beam back behind her, farther down the passage than they had gone. Her link chimed as someone linked in.

"He destroyed the probe."

Donne's voice ran like poison into her ear.

"Did your good friend tell you that?"



CHAPTER 15



John was in his office, reviewing all the ship's logs for the sixteen hours during which the sabotage had occurred, as well as interrogation transcripts and investigation reports. So far he hadn't found anything helpful, and he was about ready to throw these down, climb into an EVA suit and try to help Ross. Time was running out. It was almost twenty-three hundred. They had only three hours
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